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Weld a Pair of Stands 


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Weld a Pair of Stands 

Written By: Mister Jalopy 


Before we start on our stands, let's look at square-tube steel. Since the walls of square 
tubing are much thinner than angle iron, there is a greater likelihood of "blowing a hole." 

Tips on Welding Square Tube 

The heat and wire speed need to be turned down or your work will be Swiss-cheesed. 
Standard steel tube is about 16 gauge, so I set the welder to E-2 per the cheat sheet. 

The horizontal tube resting on the table acts as if it is thicker because you are welding into 
the side of the tube rather than the edge. Since the vertical tube is being welded on its very 
edge, it has less metal to absorb the heat and is much quicker to melt away. 

To compensate, hold the gun at a steeper angle, which will direct more of the heat to the 
horizontal tube. 

It's like lighting a sheet of notebook paper on fire. If you hold a match to the center of the 
paper, it will take longer to catch fire than if held at the edge or the corner. 

Same principle, shallower angle. This time the thin edge is on the base of the T. Again, angle 
the gun into the more substantial piece of metal. 

Practice welding square tube. Use the scrap metal and practice welding some tacks and 
beads. Be sure to tack on all four sides, as the square tube will want to wander when it gets 
hot. These fresh tacks have yet to be wire-brushed. 

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Weld a Pair of Stands 

Step 1 — Clamp stand top in jig and tack weld. 

• Clamp the stand's upright piece 
(12" long, 3/4" tube) in the jig. 

• Measure the center of the stand top 
crossbar and align to the center of 
the stand upright. Certainly, without 
measuring, you could align these 
pretty close and it wouldn't affect 
usability. You might be a bad 
person, but the stands would still 
work fine. 

• Clamp (and center) the stand 
crossbar in the jig. 

• Weld a tack on each of the four 
sides of the T-joint. 

Step 2 — Weld the stand top. 

• After the stand top is tacked on four sides, it can be removed from the jig and the final 
beads can be laid down. 

• When you are welding beads on square tube, weld a little farther around each corner. That 
wraparound will assure that the bead is continuous. 

© Make Projects 

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Weld a Pair of Stands 

Step 3 — Center punch and drill holes. 

• Drilling steel is more difficult 
than drilling wood as the drill 

bit tends to skate along the top of 
the metal. Center-punching the 
steel first solves the problem by 
creating a tiny divot for the drill bit 
to get its start. 

• Once the piece is center-punched, 
drill a 3/8" hole for the 5/16" 
thumbscrew to pass through. 

Step 4 — Weld the hex nut. 

• After drilling the hole, position the 
hex nut over the hole. Make sure it 
is lined up so that the thumbscrew 
can pass through. 

• Proud of my new jig, I used it to 
hold the nut to the stand. A bead on 
two or three of the sides of the nut 
should be adequate. 

• Zinc fumes are hazardous. 
These tiny tacks will not 
create much in the way of fumes, 
but do it outside. 


© Make Projects 

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Weld a Pair of Stands 

Step 5 

• The most difficult weld saved for last. The base plates are much thicker metal than the 
square tube that sits on it. I cranked the heat to right between E and F (E-3 to F-3) to get a 
little better penetration in the base plate. 

• Angle the gun at a steeper angle to direct more heat and metal into the base plate. Four 
tacks, four beads, and you're done. 

Step 6 

• I didn't realize that I had blown a 
hole in the vertical tube until it was 
primed. And I didn't make it around 
the corner! I should have filled the 
hole with a tiny tack weld, but 
instead, I will live with the 

• There are no perfect 
welders. Just welders who 
are better at fixing their mistakes. 


© Make Projects 

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Weld a Pair of Stands 

Step 7 

• My color choice was the 

mercilessly fast, black/gold made 
famous by the Smokey Yunick 
racecars and the Hurst "Hemi 
Under Glass" experimental 
wheelstanders. These stands look 
like they are going about 200 miles 
an hour! 

This project originally appeared in MAKE Volume 03 . 

Related Projects on Make: Online: 

Weekend Project: Bike Repair Stands 
http://blog.makezine.eom/archive/2009/1 1 ... 
How-to: Car Battery-powered MIG welder 
http://blog.makezine.eom/archive/2008/1 0... 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-03 04:43:01 AM. 

© Make Projects 

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